Monarchy: Who’s Next to Fall?

Monarchism in republics has a converse, republicanism in monarchy. How strong are republican movements in monarchies and how likely are they to succeed?

The more autocratic monarchies, like in Saudi Arabia, are not likely to have much tolerance for republican movements. However, the experience of the last few centuries suggests that political upheavals are likely to end such monarchies, with their successors creating republics that stay republics. Such monarchies may survive by letting republican organizations like parliaments take over much of the work of governing, and their nations may end up crowned republics.

Of the Arab monarchies, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, and Oman seem headed toward republicanism, with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia taking baby steps in that direction. Though these nations have avoided most of the “Arab Spring” strife, Bahrain and Syria are close to civil war, and it may depose their monarchies. Elsewhere, the Communist monarchies of North Korea and Cuba seem stable.

Turning to the crowned-republic monarchies, we find republican movements in many of them. The Alliance of European Republican Movements has members in most of Europe’s crowned republics: the UK, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Spain. There are also pro-republican organizations in the UK’s major dominions: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Most of these organizations are on the fringes of their nations’ politics, without much support from big political parties or big-name politicians, as far as I (lpetrich) can tell.

However, republicanism has gotten a surprising amount of support in the UK and its major dominions. Several politicians have supported republicanism in those nations, and Australia has gone as far as having a referendum on becoming a republic. It failed, however. The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, has gone on record as stating that she wants Australia to become a republic, but that she wants to wait until Queen Elizabeth II dies, because many people seem to like her. So Elizabeth Windsor’s likability may be keeping the British monarchy going. Her likely successor, Prince Charles, has not been so likable, and if he becomes king, his personality may induce some nations to reject the British monarchy. So might the House of Windsor some day go the way of the Houses of Bourbon, Hohenzollern, Habsburg, Romanov, and Savoy?

So Bahrain, Syria, and the UK and its dominions all risk losing their monarchies over the next few years to the next decade or so.

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